The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens

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House schedules departure, farm bill action unlikely

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has officially announced that the House will go out of session this Friday and will not return until November 13, making action on the farm bill before the election extremely unlikely.

On Friday, Cantor said on the House floor, “With the Senate’s expected passage of the continuing resolution, we no longer anticipate votes in the House in the week of October 1. This is a change from the original House calendar.”

The House is out of session today and Tuesday for the Jewish holidays and is scheduled to be in session Wednesday, Thursday and part of Friday.

Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., said in a news release today that he is “absolutely appalled that House leadership would send us home without getting our chores done and voting on a five-year farm bill.”

“Make no mistake; the farm bill isn’t just for farmers,” Walz said. “Whether it comes in the form of steady, dependable prices at the grocery store or relief for drought stricken farmers, the farm bill affects and gives certainty to everyone.”

Meanwhile, the conservative pressure group Club for Growth on Monday said it opposes the discharge petition that Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, has launched to try to force the House leadership to bring up the bill and will keep track of members who sign it, The Hill reported. Fifty three members signed the petition, but two Republicans later withdrew their signatures.

Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt. and Rep. Kristi Noem, (R-S.D.) met on Friday with Cantor to push him to bring up the farm bill, but Welch said the meeting was “inconclusive,” The Hill also reported.

House Republican leaders on Friday were asking members how they would vote on a 90-day extension of the farm bill, but House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said he would oppose it, the West Central Tribune of Willmar, Minn., reported.

“That is complete nonsense because there is no problem for 90 days. There’s a problem the 91st day,” Peterson said. “This is another disingenuous gesture to try to get their members off the hook. This is all cover so they can vote for this and tell people at home they did something. They’re just playing all kinds of games.”